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UNH and NH EPSCoR Partner with Portsmouth Brewery for Discussions on Ecosystems and Society in Monthly Science Café

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Ever have the desire to pick a scientist’s brain? Interested in meeting and engaging with some of the world’s leading researchers and emerging young scientists? Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. the Portsmouth Brewery, in collaboration with UNH and NH EPSCoR, presents its first Seacoast Science Café series on four Wednesday evenings this fall.

The Seacoast Science Café will bring the coastal community face-to-face with researchers to engage in dialogue about the latest scientific discoveries on the interactions between ecosystems and society, and will provide an opportunity to gather with old friends and make new ones. Join us this fall in a series of four conversations on the interconnections and changes to our climate, our ecosystems, our land use, and our society. The conversations are held on the following Wednesday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. at the Portsmouth Brewery, Jimmy LaPanza lounge.

Sept. 19:  What Do We Really Know and Believe About Climate Change?
Presented by: Cameron Wake and Larry Hamilton

Wake is a climatologist with the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at UNH and the Josephine A. Lamprey Fellow in Climate and Sustainability in the UNH Sustainability Institute. He also directs Carbon Solutions New England, a public-private partnership promoting collective action to achieve a clean, secure energy future while sustaining our unique cultural and natural resources.

Hamilton is a professor of sociology and senior fellow at UNH’s Carsey Institute. He has written widely about statistical methods in articles and books including six editions of “Statistics with Stata”(1990–2006). His research involves human/environment interactions in the Arctic, and surveys of public opinions and knowledge about climate.

Oct. 17:  Getting to Know Snow:  Volunteer Climate Scientists Take an In-Depth Look at NH Snow
Presented by: Mary Stampone and Elizabeth Burakowski

Stampone is an assistant professor of geography and the state climatologist.  As a UNH faculty member, she teaches courses in weather and climate and conducts research in climate system science and New England weather and climate.
Burakowski, an emerging new scientist, is a Ph.D. candidate at UNH. An avid skier and snowboarder of 25 years, she has a vested interest in understanding snow climatology in New Hampshire. 

Nov. 14:  Forest Ecosystems and the Winds of Change:  The History and Future of Forests as a Cog in the Earth System
Presented by: Scott Ollinger

Ollinger is a professor with joint appointments in the Earth Systems Research Center and the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. His research interests include ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, carbon and nitrogen cycling in forests, effects of air pollution and climate change and relationships between foliar chemistry and ecosystem processes.

Dec. 5:  The Health of Great Bay: Great Big Challenges and Great Big Opportunities
Presented by: Rachel Rouillard and Cory Riley

Rouillard is the director of the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), a collaborative program at UNH that monitors, protects, and restores the environmental health of the Great Bay and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries.
Riley is the manager of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The Great Bay NERR is a local protected area established to support long term research, public and school education and outreach, and informed natural resource management practices.

Science cafés are live—and lively—events that take place in casual settings (in this case a “public house” or pub), are open to anyone who is interested in attending, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist (or scientists) about a particular topic.

Science cafés originated in Europe as a way to increase interaction among scientists and citizens with the aim of increasing local understanding. Science cafés spread to the U.S. and today more than 31 states have some form of science café venue. Science cafés welcome people who may not typically get involved in scientific discussions and provide an opportunity for discussion for people with shared interests from all walks of life.

The Seacoast Science Café is a grassroots effort to foster healthy communities through science-based discussion of issues critical to New Hampshire’s future. Support for the program is provided by the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program, whose purpose is to broaden and strengthen the state’s research capacity and competitiveness. The current EPSCoR research aims to better understand complex interactions among climate, land use, ecosystem function and society; to build capacity for competitive research in interdisciplinary ecosystem-related natural social sciences; to strengthen and diversify the STEM workforce pipeline; and to strengthen management and policy decision capacity in New Hampshire regarding ecosystems and their services to, and interactions with, society.

For more information, contact Evelyn Jones, NH EPSCoR at 2-1804 or evelyn.jones@unh.edu